The strong serves, audacious aces, and riveting rallies continue to entertain the masses in this year’s Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournaments. As usual, there is no shortage of mercurial action on courts as the dramatic race for the world number 1 spot rages on. Novak Djokovic reclaimed the top spot earlier this month after his young rival Carlos Alcaraz failed to complete the Sunshine Double in Miami. The teenager failed to defend his Masters title in Florida shortly after winning the 2023 Indian Wells Open.
The season has now shifted from pacey hard courts to bouncy clay courts as the rankings fluctuate after the conclusion of almost every ATP tournament. Alcaraz struggled with a slight niggle during the semi-final of the 2023 Miami Open against Jannik Sinner and eventually lost that match. The injury forced him to miss the first clay-court Masters tournament of the year in Monte Carlo. Djokovic, who missed the Masters in Indian Wells and Miami due to the non-issuance of a vaccine waiver, was eager to capitalize on the youngster’s absence but faced a shock exit in the second round against Lorenzo Musetti.
History was made at the Monte Carlo Masters when world number 6 Andrey Rublev defeated Holger Rune 5–7, 6–2, 7–5 to lift the first Masters title of his career along with €892,590 in prize money. The 25-year-old had reached the final in Monte Carlo for the first time in 2021 but lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas. After the Monte Carlo Masters, three ATP Tour tournaments commenced simultaneously – the Srpska Open in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the BMW Open by American Express in Munich, Germany, and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in Barcelona, Spain.
The first-ever edition of the Srpska Open was initially highlighted by the presence of Djokovic and Rublev, who were the top-two seeds of the new tournament. However, Dusan Lajovic handed a shock straight-set loss to the world number 1 in the quarter-finals and went on to win the ATP 250 event after beating second seed Rublev 6–3, 4–6, 6–4 in the final. In the process, the Serbian also pocketed prize money worth €85,605.
Meanwhile, in the ATP 250 event in Munich, lightning struck twice as Holger Rune and Botic van de Zandschulp met in the final of the BMW Open for the second successive edition. In the 2022 BWM Open, world number 7 Rune was fortunate to lift the title as an injury forced world number 29 van de Zandschulp to retire after just seven games of the first set. No ailment affected the Dutchman this time, but he still failed to avenge last year’s outcome and lost 6–4, 1–6, 7–6, as Rune lifted the trophy and nabbed €85,605.
Stakes were highest in Barcelona, where Alcaraz returned to action after recuperating from an injury in the most prolific manner. Before losing in Miami against Jannick Sinner, the world number 2 had not dropped a single set in ten matches. At the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2023, Alcaraz lifted the title without dropping a set. He defeated Tsitipas 6–3, 6–4 in the final to lift his third ATP 500 title whilst adding €477,795 to his prize money pile.
The winners of all four of the aforementioned ATP tournaments are in the main draw of the next Masters event in Madrid. Alcaraz won the Mutua Madrid Open last year and will be desperate to defend his title to reclaim the top spot. Meanwhile, Rublev and Rune will be strong competitors and are expected to advance to the latter stages of the tournament. Despite his performance in Bosnia, Lajovic will be an underdog in Madrid but is capable of pulling off an upset.
The prize money for the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open will be €7,705,780. This lucrative sum is €1,926,445 higher than the prize money of the Monte Carlo Masters. €1,105,265 will directly go into the winner’s pocket, while the runner-up will earn €580,000. Players that exit in the first round itself will receive €16,340.
So far this year, before entering the Madrid Open, Alcaraz has earned €2,214,482 from five ATP tournaments, out of which he has won three. Rublev and Rune have both featured in eight ATP tournaments each this year. The former has made €1,766,439 from those tournaments, while the latter has earned €1,072,149. Lajovic has moved into the top 50 this year and has made €322,106 from ten ATP tournaments.
All four players, including several others, will be looking to increase their points tally and also to add more to their respective wallets during the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open.
Is Tournament Prize Money The Only Source Of Income?
The tournament prize money is only one of the several sources of revenue generation for professional tennis players. Appearance fees, endorsements, image rights, sponsorship bonuses, exhibition matches, and club tennis are the other sources of income that generate a higher revenue than the prize money.
Roger Federer retired from tennis last year, and despite that, the Swiss was the seventh-highest-paid athlete in the world in 2022, according to Forbes. The tennis icon earned over €82 million during the entire year, and only €634,928 came from on-court sources. The remaining €81,633,600, which comprised 99.2% of his total income, came from the aforementioned off-court sources.
While the less famous players cannot earn such a high amount due to lack of fame, they still earn a substantial sum from prize money, local endorsements, and sponsorships.